Reference work entry
In general, algae fossils include all types of algae preserved as fossils throughout geological history. The main species are Cyanophyta, Chrysophyta, Xanthophyta, Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta, Charophyta, Pyrrophyta, diatoms, and Phaeophyta. Most algae is aquatic and lives in a planktonic or benthic manner. Algae fossils can preserve the entire algae group or only part of it. Algae fossils that have gone through the calcification process are also called ‘calcareous algae fossils’. Abundant Cyanophyta and Rhodophyta fossils have been found in the late Precambrian strata in China. The fossils have diverse forms; some formed parts of stromatolites, whereas others grew on the side or outer margin of rock. Some clustered to form radial structures with black and white stripes, and some are cloud-shaped, jagged or tussock-like. The Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata are rich in diatoms, Charophyta and Pyrrophyta fossils (Fig. 9).
© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020